Price paid: $ 225
Purchased from: Provided to Ultimate Guitar for review by distributor
Sound — 10
When used in Normal Model, the OD9Pro+ is a lot like a classic Tube Screamer and it provides the same type of Overdrive you would expect to get with the gain, sweet sustain and clarity, but on this souped-up version, there's an option for increasing the level of midrange and the ability to get even more gain. It's easy enough to dial in the types of tones you want by using the three knobs and selecting the operational mode. For my test Drive, I used two guitars with very different and distinct soundsa custom B.C. Rich Strat with a single DiMarzio Tone Zone humbucker, and a '62 reissue Strat with stock single-coil pickups. It proved to be a favorable match for both, and for the two amps I used to play it througha late-'60s 100 watt Marshall Super Lead plexi tube head with two 4x12 cabinets and the mid-'80s solidstate Marshall Lead 12 combo with 1x10. On their own, the tube head is definitely a smoother sounding amp that was designed for use in more professional situations, while the small Lead 12 combo is great for practice. The solidstate circuitry is a bit more trebly and perhaps more aggressive, but isn't able to produce a sound that's quite as smooth and warm as the tube amp is when used by itself. On the OD-9 Pro+, the additional Boost mode allows you to add more midrange and gain to fill things out, without having to change the settings on your amp or use an additional EQ to fatten up the sound of your amp or a guitar that may need some extra beefing up. It definitely made the Strat's natural Vintage tones sound much fatter and hotter. This is a cool feature to have on hand for when your guitar or amp just doesn't pump out the amount of chunk that you want. With the humbucker in the B.C. Rich, I was able to get a smooth crunchy tone when I cranked up the Drive and Level, and switched on the Boost. The Tone control seemed to work best for me when I left it set at 12 o'clock, but you can get more treble when turning it to the right. Something else worth pointing out is that I heard no clicks or pops at all when stepping on the on/off Switch, and there were also no noticeable changes in the sound when I used it in conjunction with other pedals, like when putting it in front of a chorus and a delay. There were no drops in the amount of signal going to the amp whether it was on or off. In my opinion, the OD-9 Pro+ is a useful box that serves a variety of purposes. Of course, you can get your Overdrive, but it can be used to simply enhance any amp's inherent tonal qualities without changing them drastically, whether you are using a tube amp or a solidstate amp. You can tweak the knobs to match the amp's settings and then work from there to add what's desired, whether it's a straight volume boost, or to add more gain and volume, or add more mids and even more gain, or to get full-on Overdrive with maximum Drive, increased mids and a boost in volume. Use it to increase an already overdriven sound or to deliver your Overdrive when you have an amp with a clean setting, or just for the boost and extra beefiness without the Overdrive. The range of overdriven tones that can be achieved are applicable for all sorts of music ranging fromthough not limited toblues to pop to rock to metal. This is just how I demoed it, and found that it works rather well.
Overall Impression — 10
Anyone who is a fan of the original Ibanez Tube Screamer or any good classic Overdrive pedal should enjoy using the OD-9 Pro+ and find it to be even more versatile than a standard Overdrive. It has all the features that one would expect to be included on a traditional Overdrive pedal, but it has even more to offer with the beneficial Boost mode. It delivers all the warm tones to enhance the sound of any tube or solidstate amp, and can be used for a wide array of purposes. If you are looking for a pedal that will deliver great overdriven tones and more, the OD-9 Pro+ is worth checking out. I rate it with 10s in all categories across the board.
Reliability & Durability — 10
The pedal's metal case itself is definitely strong and sturdy, just like those on the older Ibanez stompboxes. Anyone Who is familiar with these pedals should agree that they are well constructed, durable and roadworthy. The stomp Switch is easy to operate for turning the effect on and off, and it seems like it can take the normal amount of abuse any pedal would sustain. The control knobs are easy to turn and hold their settings without being knocked out of place. There's just enough tension so you have to grasp them and intentionally move them to make them turn. The mode Switch is conveniently positioned so that it needs to be flicked by hand and is unlikely to be accidentally kicked into a different position by your foot while stepping on the pedal.
Ease of Use — 10
The OD-9 Pro+ includes individual rotary control knobs for Drive, Tone, and Level, as well as a two-way Boost/Normal mode Switch. When using it in the Boost mode, midrange tones are accentuated and boosted by 3 dB, and the Overdrive level is increased by 10 dB. In Normal mode, it functions more like those of Maxon's standard OD-9 Overdrive. As on typical stompboxes, other features include standard 1/4-inch input and output jacks, an on/off footswitch, and a red LED indicator to show when the effect is engaged (though most players should find it easy enough to hear if it's on or off) and provide an indication of the battery Status. So if the light is dim or won't go on, your battery needs to be replaced. The pedal operates on either a single 9-volt battery or a compatible AC adaptor. The battery door is easily accessed on the bottom of the pedal.